Changes to the opening hours of enquiry offices at police stations across the H District policing area will come into effect on 1st December.
Ballymena and Coleraine stations will move to 12-hour opening, seven days a week. The offices will open between 8am and 8pm. Meanwhile, enquiry offices at Ballymoney, Ballycastle and Larne stations will provide an eight hour service on weekdays, 10am-6pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the enquiry offices at Ballymoney, Ballycastle and Larne stations will open from 12 noon – 4pm.
Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray said: “The reduced opening hours reflect our efforts to deliver the necessary budget savings across the service. Station enquiry offices throughout Northern Ireland will similarly adjust opening hours, with the exception being Musgrave Street in Belfast and Strand Road, L/Derry. These stations will retain 24/7 opening hours.
“The reduction in opening hours should not mean a reduction in our service to the public. Police activities within stations will continue as normal and people can still contact police 24 hours a day/365 days a year on either the non-emergency number 101 or for emergencies on 999.
“The reality is that nearly all policing services are delivered outside of stations. Policing isn’t about buildings. Rather, it is about officers working with the community, keeping them safe by preventing crime and detecting offenders.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin added his views on the revision to opening hours: “The public are increasingly engaging with the police in different ways – from online reporting of non-emergency and hate crime, to interacting with local police via social media. As a result we have found fewer people are visiting or using police stations.
Chief Superintendent Murray concluded: “The new hours may affect people who need to visit stations to produce driving documents or complete other business. We don’t anticipate problems around this but I would ask for their patience at busy times.”